YIKES! I hear peeping under my broody! What do I do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Knock Kneed Hen, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    Sounds stupid, but I've seen our little bantam roo in action and didn't expect these eggs to be fertile!!! Now I hear peeping from the nest box, it's day 20. I haven't prepared a thing for them.

    1? Should I lock the others out of the coop until the chicks hatch?
    2? I know I need to set up a separate place for mom and chicks, I have a place in the run to do it but will the chicks stay warm enough at night?
    3? I need chick starter but should I get medicated? I'm assuming mom will eat some too.

    ANY advice is helpful. As you can see, I'm in a bit of a panic...my first time [​IMG] THANKS!
     
  2. jaybob54

    jaybob54 Out Of The Brooder

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    You should get the chicks and put them in a brooding area under a heatlamp with food and water. You can just feed them regular food until you get medicated
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    Quote:No! A mother hen is so much better for the chicks than an artificial brooder. She will keep those chicks plenty warm - if she kept them warm enough to hatch, she'll keep them warm enough to thrive. No need for a heat lamp at all, I never use one, even if my broodies hatch babies in the dead of winter. She will also protect them from the other chickens and effectively integrate them into the flock without you having to introduce them later.

    No need to lock the others out until she finishes hatching - she'll sit on them until they're done and no one will bother them. My other hens mostly ignore chicks; only "teenage" chicks try to bother new chicks and the broody will set them straight with a flying ninja kick.

    Medicated starter is fine if you're going to seperate her from the others. It's ok for mama hen to eat medicated starter, too, since she won't lay eggs while she's raising her chicks. If you're going to leave her with the flock, you should switch the whole flock to unmedicated feed like Flock Raiser or Starter/Grower, since you don't want medication in the eggs you eat, but the babies can't eat layer feed. If you switch the flocks feed, just offer a calcium supplement, only the ones that need it will eat it.
     
  4. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    I'd like to keep the chicks with the hen. Can I move mom and chicks right after they hatch? I have a service area I can put them in temporarily. I'd like to move them right now BEFORE they hatch, but I don't want mom abandoning them.
     
  5. gvilledh

    gvilledh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greenville, SC
    From what I am learning, mom will take care of the chicks. You may not be able to move anyone until after they have hatched. My neighbor's broody hen raised 14 and did quite well. She did have a separate place from the others, but that was where she chose to nest in the first place. You will get lots of advice on here soon.
     
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    Quote:Wait until they all hatch and you can move them easily. If you move the nest before they all hatch, she might quit sitting on them and those last few won't hatch. You can always candle the remaining eggs to see if they're close to hatching or if they're duds.
     
  7. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    Thanks Southernbelle,
    I'll do that. I didn't know that another hen had been laying eggs in the same nest box while the broody was out eating (I never saw the broody off the nest so it didn't occur to me to check it). So now there are other eggs under her. I think I'm going to wait until the chicks hatch then remove the other eggs. I hate doing that. Also, the nest boxes are a foot off the ground. Do I have to worry about the chicks? I'll set up a milk crate on the ground so mama can move them there later.
     
  8. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    give a few days so it gives the other eggs a chance to hatch. Let mom take care of them. after a few days if you have a spot for them then you can move them. She will teach them what is dangerous, how to eat and drink, etc. I would much prefer my hens to hatch then using my incubator. Let nature do it's job and you will be pleased with the results. Happy Hatching. Mine eat either chick starter or if I am out they eat crumbles with mom. She teaches them what greens to eat, bugs, etc so they get a well rounded diet, but then I free range.
     
  9. jaybob54

    jaybob54 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well what I did was put the chick and its mom in a large brooding where there was lot's of food and water and warmth under the mama.
     
  10. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    Quote:Wait until they all hatch and you can move them easily. If you move the nest before they all hatch, she might quit sitting on them and those last few won't hatch. You can always candle the remaining eggs to see if they're close to hatching or if they're duds.

    I only set two eggs under her originally. She insisted on sitting all day in an empty nest box despite my throwing her off of it 4 times a day. I finally gave in. So I know that there are only two eggs to hatch out in the next day or two, then the rest I'll have to remove.
     

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